Roundup: Oregon's Mariota focused on improvement

Busy working on his strength and other matters related to conditioning and football in general, Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota is focused on improvement as preseason camp looms. He was recently named to the O'Brien Award watch list for the top collegiate signal-caller in Amurrica.

Arizona football players Jake Fischer and Jake Smith joined Ed O'Bannon's lawsuit against the NCAA. Per this Arizona Daily Star article, here is AD Greg Byrne's statement on the matter: ""We are aware that Jake Fischer and Jake Smith are now plaintiffs in the lawsuit. While we do not support the lawsuit, we support their right to be involved and express their opinion. They are two fine young men and we are glad they are part of our program and university."

Stanford is the only FBS school to have a black athletic director, head football coach and head basketball coach, yet no one is discussing it (well, except for this article I'm about to link to). And this, according to ESPN's Ivan Maisel, is why Stanford athletics is a symbol of real change. As David Shaw puts it in the story, "I think it is a story that it's not a big story... That's a great story!"

On Wednesday, Colorado officially announced that Rick George would be the school's next athletic director. Since a big part of an AD's job is to raise money, Mark Kiszla of The Denver Post writes that this hiring by Colorado better make a lot of cents (clever title, huh?).

Arizona State leads the Pac with two running backs, Marion Grice and DJ Foster, named to the Doak Walker Award watch list. Here is the list of all nine Pac-12 running backs on the Doak Walker watch list.

Now that the Cougars (of BYU) and Utes are no longer in the same conference, the BYU-Utah football rivalry faces a new reality going forward. The schools will take a two-year break in playing against each other after a September matchup this season, but it looks like the schools will face each other the next three years after that from 2016-18.

Washington's rowing success continued this year with its fifth national championship in seven years, but the prominence of the program can be traced back to 1936 when the Huskies stole gold from Hitler. Another great read from the great Gregg Bell (Maybe he'll have an autograph-signing session at Football Media Day?)

Like two peas in a pod, Cal and KGO will extend their broadcast partnership. The news station is coming up on its 40th year of covering Cal football, while men's basketball is returning to the slate for the first time in more than 20 years. New five-year deal here.

True, the Cougs lose Travis Long, but could the Washington State defense be sneaky good? Ted Miller puts forth some interesting evidence to suggest that, yes, the Fighting Breskes could be a pretty solid unit.

Former Beavers are getting a head start on NFL training camp, and there are quite a few Oregon State alums playing at football's top level.

It was pretty cool to see Andy Enfield win an ESPY for best upset. I didn't watch the ESPYs, but I imagine that would be pretty cool to see.

Hey, hey, hey -- it was recently UCLA football picture day!

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